December 2, 2022

Wayne State researchers aim to improve the future of diabetes therapy

DETROIT – A team of researchers from Wayne State University received a nearly $2.7 million government grant under the auspices of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health for the study, “Infusion device optimization by addressing root causes of the inflammatory response.”

Although insulin infusion systems for diabetes continue to improve, their lifespan is limited to three days, as the device insertion itself leads to inflammation and localized injury. Moreover, the preservatives used to stabilize insulin are also tissue toxic.

“All of the commercially available insulin formulations contain phenolic preservatives that prolong insulin shelf life but also cause tissue injury,” stated Ulrike Klueh, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering in Wayne State University’s College of Engineering. “Our team is focused on methods that reduce these preservatives’ tissue toxicity.”

Klueh and her research team reported that these devices induce mast cell activation and subsequent leukocyte recruitment, which initiates inflammation. Thus, overcoming these tissue toxic reactions represents a significant advancement in the goal to achieve normal blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.

The award number for this grant is DK129681. For more information, visit

About Wayne State University: Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit


Julie O'Connor
Phone: 313-577-8845

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